With Clay Buchholz officially signing his contract, the Blue Jays needed to make a corresponding roster move to make room for him on the 40-man roster. Dwight Smith Jr. ended up getting designated for assignment.
OFFICIAL: We've signed RHP Clay Buchholz to a 1-year contract. Buchholz went 7-2 with a 2.01 ERA in 2018.
To make room on our 40-man roster, Dwight Smith Jr. has been designated for assignment. pic.twitter.com/QyAbC6WErK
— Toronto Blue Jays (@BlueJays) March 5, 2019
I won’t lie, it’s a little surprising to see Smith as the odd man out here. I’m not sure Smith has a future as an everyday player, but I would imagine his odds a little better than Dalton Pompey and Jonathan Davis, two other outfielders who remained on the 40-man instead of him. It isn’t the end of the world, as Smith, at the age of 26, is just a tweener, I just figured he was higher on the depth chart.
Smith, the 53rd overall pick from the 2011 draft, has played 47 games over the past two seasons with the Jays at the Major League level. In those games, he slashed an impressive.262/.347/.477 line. That said, while his numbers in the big leagues have been solid, his numbers in Triple-A, well, weren’t. 2018 was his second go-around with the Bisons, and he slashed a.268/.258/.413 line. Those numbers aren’t particularly inspiring for a corner outfielder who doesn’t bring much value with his glove.
As I alluded to above, this again shifts the focus back to Pompey, somebody we all assumed was toast back in September who continues to survive roster decisions. Pompey made the 40-man prior to the Rule 5 draft and he was kept around over Smith, so the organization must have some kind of plan for him. He doesn’t have options, so the Jays are either thinking about giving him a legit shot with the team this year, or they’re confident they can make a trade before the season.